Benny Hinn: Still More Prophecies, Still Missing the Point
Opening salvo. One of the greatest dangers to Biblical faith today is the charismatic movement in its distinctives.
Clarification. Note my wording. I am not saying every charismatic believer, nor every doctrine taught by every charismatic. I was a charismatic believer in my early years as a Christian. I’ve known many wonderful charismatic believers. Some wonderful printed and spoken material is available from Christians who are (in my judgment) dead wrong when it comes to the issues relating to Charismaticism.
By distinctives I mean those doctrines that set them apart from Biblical orthodoxy. Chief is their affirmation of some sort of (radically redefined) revelatory gifts such as tongues and prophecy. All this translates to the notion that God still communicates in some way on an individual basis, apart from Scripture. Charismatics may say “The Lord told me,” followed by something found nowhere in Scripture.
An aside: Years of careful development of these matters is available at Pyromaniacs in these posts and in these, for instance, as well as in talks given at the Sufficient Fire Conference (videos, audio).
Benny and the jest. In non-Charismatic circles Benny Hinn is a joke, but tens of thousands of Charismatics, unknown and high-visibility, continue to prop him up. As a movement, they are clearly not in on the joke, and they own him.
Now, because I care for my readers, I wouldn’t normally recommend watching Benny Hinn talk…well, ever. But this ~9-minute video so perfectly reveals the heart of the difference between high-visibility Charismaticism and Biblical Christian faith that I’ll commend it to you:
Hinn-tense mis-focus. As you listen, you’ll note these common characteristics:
- Benny Hinn preaches Benny Hinn; that is…
- The real authority and focus is Benny Hinn’s personal feelings, insights (“the Lord has been showing me”), readings of “the Spirit,” promises, and predictions; we don’t know these things, we need Benny to tell us;
- The Gospel and Cross of Christ are not even mentioned;
- Instead, much is made of the “anointing,” which is anchored in no Biblical text;
- Viewers are dependent on Hinn’s (historically wildly inaccurate) directions, insights, and predictions, as they’ll never find what he’s saying in their own Bibles;
- Viewers are directed to other places (Nigeria!) and other times (days are coming!) in a desperate search for some promised “bigger/better/greater-than-ever-move-the-Spirit” than they can know in the Gospel, in Christ, through their Bibles, in their local churches;
- Wild promises – which will never be followed up on – implying that folks will (for the first time in ~2000 years) walk on water and be “translated” from location to location instantly;
Biblically un-Benny-ficial. Hinn does attempt a few Biblical allusions – all disastrous to him. He wants to suggest some hidden insight in exploring what came before Paul’s translation to the third heaven – but Paul himself is deliberately vague about the event, dismissing it so as to emphasize how Christ’s grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in suffering (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). Hinn hints that deep truths are also lurking in speculations about Moses surviving long fasts (“the anointing!”), and how Elijah and Philip were transported.